Falling for the fifth straight day, the Sensex fell by 91.32 points, or 0.48 percent, to 18,792.87, its lowest level since November 26, 2012.
Mumbai: In a roller-coaster ride, the BSE benchmark Sensex on Thursday surrendered nearly 200-point gain to end over 91 points down at four-month low levels on emergence of fag-end selling triggered by weak European markets amid continuing worries over the country's political stability.
The BSE 30-share barometer resumed better on firm Asian trends after announcement of improvement in China's manufacturing data and US Fed indicated a return to moderate economic growth. It then hit intra-day high of 19,082.29.
However, the pull-back proved to be short-lived as offloading after mid-session on weak European markets pushed the Sensex down by 91.32 points or 0.48 percent to end at 18,792.87, a level not seen since November 26, 2012 when it had closed at 18,537.01. Today is the fifth day of losses for Sensex and the index has lost over 777 points in this phase.
The NSE 50-issue CNX Nifty today lost 35.65 points or 0.63 percent to end at four-month low of 5,658.75.
Shares from realty, power, capital goods, PSU, refinery and metal segments continued their southward march.
Fall in Sensex-based stocks like HDFC Bank, L&T, Tata Motors, RIL, ITC, Bajaj Auto, HUL, Tata Power, Tata Steel, ONGC and Maruti Suzuki mainly contributed to the fall.
Brokers said trading sentiment turned bearish ever since DMK withdrew its support to the ruling UPA government, raising concerns that economic reforms pace might get derailed.
CBI today carried out raids at the residence of DMK chief M Karunanidhi's son M K Stalin, two days after the party pulled out of UPA. "Concern over economic and political health of the country has revived worries and selling is seen on rallies," said Nidhi Saraswat, Senior Research Analyst, Bonanza Portfolio Limited.
While Asian stocks were mixed, Europe was trading lower in early deals on persistent worries over Cyprus and also surprise fall in German manufacturing data. France's CAC was down by 1.07 percent, followed by Germany's DAX (0.76 percent) and the UK's FTSE (0.64 percent).
A sharp rise in ICICI Bank, HDFC and Bharti Airtel limited the Indian benchmark indices downslide to a major extent, brokers said.
"Given the domestic political uncertainty, Cyprus crisis and next week being a truncated one on account of Holi and Good Friday, market may enter into a consolidation phase," said Amar Ambani, Head of Research, IIFL.
19 Sensex components closed with losses while 11 finished higher. Bajaj Auto was the top loser with a fall of 4.61 percent, followed by Tata Motors (4.22 percent), Tata Power (4.06 percent), HDFC Bank (3.14 percent), L&T (2.85 percent), Maruti Suzuki (2.45 percent), Hindalco (2.43 percent), Tata Steel (2.15 percent), HUL (1.90 percent), Hero MotoCorp (1.81 percent), Dr Reddy's(1.77 percent), Cipla (1.59 percent), BHEL (1.29 percent), RIL (1.09 percent), ONGC (0.95 percent) and ITC (0.80 percent).
However, recently battered Bharti Airtel shot up by 5.99 percent. ICICI Bank was also up by 3.35 percent, followed by HDFC (2.09 percent), Jindal Steel (1.02 percent) and Wipro (0.99 percent).
Outside benchmark indices, shares of Manappuram Finance after a few sessions of drubbing ended over 1 percent higher.
Among sectoral indices, S&P BSE-Realty dropped by 2.91 percent, followed by S&P BSE-Power (2.38 percent), S&P BSE-CG (2.30 percent), S&P BSE-Auto (2.23 percent), S&P BSE-PSU (1.19 percent) and S&P BSE-Oil&Gas (1.18 percent).
The total market breadth remained negative as 1,926 stocks closed with losses while 942 that finished with gains. Total market turnover rose to Rs 2,488.48 crore from Rs 2,175.56 crore yesterday.
Foreign Institutional Investors (FIIs) pulled out Rs 236.72 crore yesterday, as per provisional data with stock exchanges.